THE largest teaching union in Britain has announced it will fight moves which would see Tavistock College become a trust school. The NASUWT is opposed to the formation of trust schools, which it says have the potential to undermine the ethos of public service provision of education. Jo Ramsey, national executive member of the NASUWT in this area, said: ?Trust schools provide another route for private companies to become involved inappropriately in the governance and management of state schools. ?As the trust can appoint the majority of governors, it will therefore have complete control of the school to the possible detriment of the local community. ?The Devon committee, which represents 2,700 members of the teaching profession in the county, has taken the principled and correct decision to fight the creation of trust schools and calls upon its members to write individually to chairs of governors to make sure their opposition is clearly heard.? Les Kennedy, NASUWT regional organiser, said: ?There is little doubt in my mind that the development of trust schools will sever the democratic and employment link with the local authority, leading to further fragmentation of education services.? Mr Kennedy backed Devon NASUWT?s decision and said members who opposed the creation of trust schools should make sure their voices were heard. But Colin Eves, principal of Tavistock College, rejected the union?s claims. He said: ?In terms of the arrangements relating to equipment, staff, admissions, ownership of land and assets and so on, trust status only results in the same arrangements currently existing in more than 6,000 voluntary aided and foundation schools nationally. If it?s not an issue for them, why should it be an issue for trust schools? ?In terms of governance, the governors at Tavistock College would never have entertained the idea of a trust appointing the majority of governors. ?Our proposal is that three of the 20 governors will be appointed by the trust ? we see it as a good opportunity to bring in experience, energy, ideas and enthusiasm from additional organisations with a wide range of experience.? Mr Eves said the trust partners proposed by the college ? City College Plymouth, the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth and environmental charity Westden ? had exemplary credentials and their extra support and commitment could only be an advantage to the college. The college recently published its statutory proposal regarding trust status. The second period of consultation ? the first period ended earlier this year ? finishes later this month, when governors will meet and vote on whether the college should become a trust school. If the college does complete the process, a charitable trust will be set up comprising representatives from the school and its new partners. The new, 20 strong governing body, three of which will be representatives from the trust partners, would still be responsible for the performance of the school, which would continue to be maintained by the local education authority. However, the staff would be employed by the governing body, rather than the LEA. The trust would also hold the college land and buildings.